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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Tiny human in the mist

Little by little it crept up on me. I feel as vulnerable as an innocent tiny human lost in the forest as the the light of day fades out and a dark and menacing mist curls its way towards me around the trees, enveloping the trunks at eye height. The mist is primeval, it radiates an intense and threatening presence and I feel myself panicked, my little heart beating like a bird fluttering uselessly entrapped in a too small cage, the bars painfully catching its wings.

Stuck in my throat is an aching lump. Droplets dwell in my tear ducts at the ready, as though all they need is to hear their marching orders, “Get in formation. March down her face. No that's not enough, run, gush like a waterfall, drench that face.”

My heart physically hurts. It feels engorged, overloaded with the injustice, loss and terror. The noise of the world feel like painful barbs, blows to my body and my brain, the light feels like the sun has moved closer to earth and burns my retina with the slightest sliver of yellow that stripes my floor if the curtain parts. My brain hurts, my skull feels tight around my head, the skin taut and pinched. The mist has overtaken the defenceless tiny human that lives inside me. She is trapped, like an ancient faerie tale, in a twisted land, dark, cold and alone and waiting for someone to save her.

But nobody comes. Nobody has heard her cries. Maybe not even me. I have steeled myself against her angst and terror filled psyche. Allowing myself only to pay attention to the now. This very moment. Because it's the only way I know how to get through. And yet something has broken, perhaps she broke through the mist I don't know, but now I hear her and she's been tugging on my heart, wrenching at my gut, choking my throat and welling my eyes up just trying to get me to listen to her and speak her truth.

She is me. The part of me that I don't let out because it feels like letting go to her will be impossible to recover from. I am terrified. Every day my life worsens and I don't know how to sustain the courage to keep facing the next moment, let alone tomorrow. I do not want you to think that I am going anywhere. I will not leave. But I cannot quiet the inner voice of the wise tiny human who lives in all of us. She is unfiltered and unwilling or too naïve to participate in pretence.

Sunday night I was so incredibly ill I thought I might die. And I know the difference between dying and feeling deathly, I've had my flirtations with death, the real ones, so I can differentiate. I have had a migraine for weeks, months even, but this was different. This was like my head was going to come off. And I had a vomiting and gastro bug picked up from a friend who had visited her friend in hospital – I should have thought, should have realised – never again post hospital visits. Then (and warning boys or the squeamish you may want to skip to the next paragraph now) I had my period. But not in the normal sense, this was previously a fortnightly visit that had not come to visit for months and it was doing a hell of a lot of catching up. It was all dark and all clots and all excruciating. Even the slightest loss of blood for me is dangerously weakening, this together with everything else and I had my perfect storm. Then I got chest pains like I've never experienced before. Intense and wrong. I felt wrong. So not right. So far removed from okay.

The paramedics came and in the dark comedy that is my life, my cat Tobey escaped for an adventure so Ma and my Dad were running around the cul-de-sac at three am attempting to herd him back into the house. Meanwhile the paramedics entered the house without noticing the prominent sign warning NO PERFUME. And Jock – the Northern Irishman, oh the irony – had been marinating in cheap cologne for three days. So he nearly killed, an already nearly dead me with his enormous cloud of neuro toxins. I had a massive seizure, got paralysed and followed it up with a sterling finish of an asthma attack.

Since it's Ekka time, the hospital was filled to the brim with the fluey, infectious and gunky sick people. I couldn't risk it. So I allowed my tear ducts to give the order and and my face was wet with streamed tears at the ridiculousness of the situation. Me, people like me, we need help the most. And yet I cannot get it. Thank you government. Thank you health system. You just may kill me yet.

Rochelle, the exceptionally kind paramedic who had thankfully refrained from marinating in her own perfume bath, told me I was the sickest and funniest patient she'd ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Ma and I had giggled our way to and from the toilet while I drooped about like a wilted flower on the walker, unable to control my muscles or limbs and she unable to control the walker.

Maybe it's Robin Williams death that has the tiny human in me yelling so loudly. We're not so different me and him. As far as human beings go. I hide my pain behind a layer of humour. He did the same. But I'm tired.

And interspersed between the dark had been moments of laughter and lightness, but like dashes that conjoin and become an unbroken line, the darkness has stitched itself together and the mist is merciless. So I think I will just stop fighting for today, and we will go to sleep under the mist, pull it over our heads like a blanket, rest on the forest floor and let the world work out its shit. I've got enough to deal with. But if you happen to hear my inner tiny human's cries, please don't ignore her. She was very brave to fight her way out.


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